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Aerial view of the U.S.S. Kearsarge, recovery ship for the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission.

Recovery operations for the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission

Navy frogman astride Sigma 7 floatation collar to secure tow line

Cooper and Capsule on Deck

Cooper Inside Faith 7 After Hatch is Blown

Mercury On Deck

Cooper Egressing Faith 7

Recovery- Cooper smiles at recovery crew on Kearsarge

Recovery- Cooper

"FAITH 7"- ASTRONAUT COOPER, GORDON L. - RECOVERY AREA - MERCURY-ATLAS (MA)-9 - POSTFLIGHT - USS KEARSAGE

Astronaut Gordon Cooper is assisted backing out of his spacecraft "Faith 7"

A bow view of the amphibious assault ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) underway during sea trials

A flight deck crewman signals directions to aircraft as the ship operates off the coast of Italy

A US Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter makes an approach to the flight deck during deck landing qualifications. The Army helicopter from E Company, 502nd Aviation Regiment, Aviano, Italy, practices landings and take-offs from the deck of the amphibious assault ship as it operates off the coast of Italy

A mix of CH-46 Sea Knights, UH-1 Iroquois Hueys, AH-1W Super Cobras and a CH-53 Super Stallion are parked on the flight deck

A US Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter is chained down in the hangar deck

A US Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter lands on the flight deck during deck landing qualifications. The Army helicopter, from E Company, 502nd Aviation Regiment, Aviano, Italy, practices landings and take-offs from the deck of the amphibious assault ship as it operates off the coast of Italy

A US Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter takes off from the flight deck. The Army helicopter, from E Company, 502nd Aviation Regiment, Aviano, Italy, practices landings and take-offs from the deck of the amphibious assault ship as it operates off the coast of Italy

A flight deck crewman on the directs an US Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter to a spot on the flight deck during deck landing qualifications. The Army helicopter, from E Company, 502nd Aviation Regiment, Aviano, Italy, practices landings and take-offs from the deck of the amphibious assault ship as it operates off the coast of Italy

A silhouette of an US Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter in the sunset as it takes off from the flight deck during deck landing qualifications. The Army helicopter, from E Company, 502nd Aviation Regiment, Aviano, Italy, practices landings and take-offs from the deck of the amphibious assault ship as it operates off the coast of Italy

A US Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter lands on the flight deck for deck landing qualifications. The Army helicopter, from E Company, 502nd Aviation Regiment, Aviano, Italy, practices landings and take-offs from the deck of the amphibious assault ship as it operates off the coast of Italy

Marine plane captains from the Air Combat Element (ACE) of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)) preflight an AV-8B2 Harrier as it prepares to take off from the USS Kearsarge for the last time. Kearsarge is enroute to the U.S. after a six month Mediterranean deployment

A landing craft air cushion (LCAC) hits the beach at Vieques Island

A US Marine CH-46D Sea Knight helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365, deployed on the USS KEARSARGE (LHD3) (not shown), delivers supplies to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Battalion Landing Team 3/8 at Fier, Albania, on May 7, 1999. The BLT 3/8 is providing security during the building of Camp Hope, the first Refugee camp built by the United States for ethnic Albanians forced from Kosovo. Camp Hope was erected as part of Operation Sustain Hope, the U.S. effort to bring in food, water, medicine, relief supplies, and to establish camps for the refugees (not shown) fleeing from the Former Republic of Yugoslavia into Albania and Macedonia

EODMU-2 members jump out of HH-46D Sea Knight

26th MEU watch for threats

U.S. Marines board CH-53

An M939 (6x6) 5 ton cargo truck, from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is guided off the ramp of an Air Cushion Landing Craft (LCAC) on the beach at Litohoro, Greece. The first wave of U.S. Marines assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived ashore in Litohoro during the early-morning hours in support of the NATO Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo. The first to arrive from the Amphibious Ship USS PONCE (LPD 15) (Not shown) were aboard Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) (Not shown) followed by Landing Craft Utility Boats (LCUs) (Not shown), and Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs). The 26th MEU and USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) Amphibious Ready Group are deployed in support of ...

A 155mm howitzer M198, towed by an M939 series (6x6) 5 ton cargo truck moves out with other elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as the unit forms up a convoy bound for Skopje, Macedonia. The first wave of Marines assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived ashore in Litohoro during the early-morning hours in support of the NATO Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo. The first to arrive from the Amphibious Ship USS PONCE (LPD 15) (Not shown) were aboard Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) (Not shown) followed by Landing Craft Utility Boats (LCUs) (Not shown), and Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) (Not shown). The 26th MEU and USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) Amphibious ...

SEAMAN Tracey Gibson, deployed with Beach MASTER Unit 2, brings an Air Cushion Landing Craft (LCAC) ashore on the beach at Litohoro, Greece. The first wave of U.S. Marines assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) (Not Shown) arrived ashore in Litohoro during the early-morning hours in support of the NATO Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo. The first to arrive from the Amphibious Ship USS PONCE (LPD 15) (Not shown) were aboard Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) (Not shown) followed by Landing Craft Utility Boats (LCUs) (Not shown), and Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs). The 26th MEU and USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) Amphibious Ready Group are deployed in support of NATO Operation Allied ...

Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) General James L. Jones talks to sailors and Marines aboard the USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) on Thursday, July 15, 1999 at Thessoliniki, Greece

An AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 (HMM-365), attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (26th MEU(SOC)) as the ocean's mist creates streaks in the air around the helicopters rotor blades as it lifts off the USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3)

Aviation Boatswain's Mate Third Class Adrian Tellez launches the second of six AV-8B2 Harriers from the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge. The Harriers left the Kearsarge as the ship came closer to the US after a six month deployemnt to the Mediterranean

Marine plane captains from the Air Combat Element (ACE) of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) preflight an AV-8B2 Harrier as it prepares to take off from the USS Kearsarge for the last time. Kearsarge is enroute to the US after a six month Mediterranean deployment

The last of six AV-8B2 Harriers attached the the Air Combat Element of the 26 MEU (Special Operation Capable) (MEU (SOC)), launches from the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge. The Harriers left the Kearsarge as the ship came closer to the U.S. after a six month deployment to the Mediterranean

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), the Honorable Mr. Richard Danzig, is the guest speaker at the Commander Naval Surface Forces Atlantic (CNSFA), Change of Command held on board the USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) on July 27, 2000

Aboard the USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3), a group of Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and their equipment load onto one of Assault Craft Unit Four's Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) for transport to one of the ships of the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)

US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) offload from a Landing Craft Air-Cushion (LCAC) craft, inside the well deck, aboard the Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3), in preparation for a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean

Crewmembers refuel a US Marine Corps (USMC) CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter, on the flight deck aboard the Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3)

A view from onboard the US Navy (USN) WASP CLASS: AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP, USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3), showing underway refueling being conducted with the USN AVENGER CLASS: MINE COUNTERMEASERURES VESSEL, USS SCOUT (MCM 8), using a floating hose refueling method

US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (NC), practice reloading drills aboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

US Marine Corps (USMC) Corporal (CPL) Eugene Faiellav (left), listens to instructions for a reloading drill from USMC CPL Ben Christiansen, both are Rifleman (0311) Marines, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (NC), deployed with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB). They are onboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

Using his 5.56 mm M16A2 rifle, US Marine Corps (USMC) Private (PVT) Dennis Douds, Rifleman (0311) Marines, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (NC), practices snapping in (quickly acquiring the target) with night vision goggles. He is on aboard the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

A view from the bridge of the US Navy (USN) Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3) as the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) battle group passes through the Straits of Gibraltar during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

This 1922 artwork depicts the sinking of the Confederate ship CSS Alabama.

In the Metal Shop aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), U.S. Marine Pfc. Thomas Madziarek welds a crate.

Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Harold Brent turns a feed water check valve.

LCAC returns to ship.

In the ship�s hangar Bay aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Marines assigned to the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2 MEB) await transportation to a Naval Base in Kuwait.

In the well deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Marines assigned to the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB) embark Assault Craft Unit 4 (ACU-4) Hopper 68.

While at sea aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Signalman Seaman Gary James conducts training with an AN/KAS-1A Chemical Warfare Directional Detector (CWDD) at a general quarters station on the ship�s signal bridge

Aviation Boatswain�s Mate 3rd Class Kelvin Bunchon (right) discusses upcoming flight operations with Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain�s Mate Joseph Prejsnar

CIWS Preventative Maintenance at sea.

Aviation Boatswain�s Mate Airman Donnie Hughes checks for abrasions on a clean fuel purifier

CIWS Preventative Maintenance at sea.

Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) craft on approach to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Engineman 3rd Class Conary Beckford performs checks on a Diesel Rack Alignment aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

LCpl Adam Hadjis passes Postal Clerk 3rd Class Brian Etcheson a package while sorting in coming mail in the Lower Vehicle Stowage aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) craft approach the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

A Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) craft on approach to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

An CH-53 Sea Stallion makes its approach for a landing on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

An CH-53 Sea Stallion Crew Chief completes safety checks prior to take-off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

Gunner�s Mate 1st Class Edward Butcher gives 9mm handgun training

Aviation Boatswain�s Mate 2nd Class Andre Wesley supervises Air department Sailors as they clean the hangar bay of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Cpl. Erik Battlel prepares over 50 pounds of BBQ chicken for the evening meal in the Chief petty officer mess aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Captain Terry McKnight, Commanding Officer of USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and Ms. Stephanie Sy, a Norfolk, Va. local-television personality host

Sailors and Marines participate in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in the hangar bay aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Fireman Charles Phillips makes his escape through an emergency escape trunk.

Fireman Charles Phillips uses an Emergency Escape Breathing Device (EEBD) as he climbs up the emergence escape trunk while conducting a main machinery space fire drill.

A wash down for deployed helicopters as well as the flight deck is in order after the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class John Gombar, a member of the ship's Damage Control Training Team, conducts a main engineering space fire drill

The Engineering Training Team (ETT) instructor provides feedback to watch standers in one of the main machinery spaces aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Medical personnel attend to patients in one of the medical triage rooms aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Rear Adm. W. Clyde Marsh, Commander Task Force Fifty One (CTF 51)

Rear Adm. W. Clyde Marsh, Commander Task Force Fifty One (CTF 51), addresses the crew aboad USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Marines wash a CH-46 'Sea Knight' helicopter from the 'Dragon Whales' of HelicopterCombat Support Squadron Eight (HC-8) aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3).

Medical personnel aboard and stretcher-bearers attend to simulated casualties during a Mass Casualty training exercises aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Medical personnel aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), along with embarked Fleet Surgical Team Eight personnel participate in a Mass Casualty training exercises

Photographer�s Mate 3rd Class Angel Roman-Otero photographs crewmembers aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) for the ship's cruise book

Deck Department personnel observe the night launch of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3

Deck Department personnel prepare for a night launch of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

Pilots prepare their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter for another combat resupply mission

Deck Department personnel prepare to launch a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) from aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

On the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) aircrew and flight deck personnel prepare for daily combat re-supply missions into Southern Iraq

A CH-53E Super Stallion assigned to the

A U.S. Marine Aviator carries his flight gear to a CH-53E Super Stallion on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) in preparation for on going combat re-supply missions in Southern Iraq

US Marine Corps (USMC) CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 (HMH-464) take off from the US Navy (USN) WASP CLASS: Amphibious Assault Ship, USS KEARSARGE (LHD 3), in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM

A Marine Aviation Maintenance Mechanic checks rotor locks on an CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter prior to it�s flight aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

Hopper 36 from Assault Craft Unit Four (ACU-4) makes its approach to the well deck of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) during landing craft air cushion (LCAC) operations in the Arabian Gulf.

At sea aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) A Marine Aviation Maintenance Mechanic visually checks rotor locks on an CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter prior to flight.

Marine Aviation Maintenance Mechanics complete pre-flight checks on a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter prior to a flight aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

A CH-53E 'Super Stallion' helicopter pilot, prepares his flight gear aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)

A US Marine Corps (USMC) Aviation Maintenance Mechanic visually checks rotor locks on an USMC CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter on the flight deck of the US Navy (USN) WASP CLASS; Amphibious Assault Ship, USS KEARASRGE (LHD 3), while conducting flight operation in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM

US Navy (USN) Aviation Boatswains Mate Third Class (AB3) Mylynda Riffle, an Aircraft Handler aboard the USN WASP CLASS; Amphibious Assault Ship, USS KEARASRGE (LHD 3) signals to aircraft during night time flight operations being conducted during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM

Aviation Boatswain�s Mate 3rd Class Mylynda Riffle, from Vienna, W. Va., signals to an aircraft during night time flight operations aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

Hopper 36 from Assault Craft Unit Four (ACU-4) departs the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) during Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) operations in the Arabian Gulf.

US Navy (USN) Aviation Boatswains Mate Third Class (AB3) Curtis Turner, an Aircraft Handler aboard the USN WASP CLASS; Amphibious Assault Ship, USS KEARASRGE (LHD 3) directs a US Marine Corps (USMC) CH-53E "Super Stallion" helicopter from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron Four Six Four (HMH-464) off the deck for a combat re-supply mission into Southern Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. A second CH-53E is spotted on deck in the background

US Navy (USN) Aviation Boatswains Mate Third Class (AB3) Zachariah Batey, an Aircraft Handler aboard the USN WASP CLASS; Amphibious Assault Ship, USS KEARASRGE (LHD 3) stands by as a member of the flight deck Crash and Salvage team, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM

The flight deck crew offloads mail during flight quarters aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

An US Marine Corps (USMC) CH-53E "Super Stallion" helicopter from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron Four Six Four (HMH-464), spotted on the flight deck of the US Navy (USN) WASP CLASS; Amphibious Assault Ship, USS KEARASRGE (LHD 3), during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM